Team


Leadership

Erin Carachilo

Chief Executive Officer

erin carachilloErin Carachilo brings over 20 years of experience in consumer products and retail to the cannabis industry. Erin began her career in public accounting before becoming an integral member of the strategic team at FAO Schwarz, serving as the Vice President of Finance, where she made significant contributions to the company’s growth and strategic plan. Prior to joining Calyx Peak, Erin served in several roles at IT’SUGAR, the 100-store candy retailer, including heading up Retail Store Operations.

With her experience in financial planning and analysis, fiscal operations, technology integration, internal controls and inventory management, Erin implements mainstream business best practices in the cannabis industry. Erin holds an MBA from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Science from Widener University. 

Jen McLaughlin

Chief Branding Officer

jen mclaughlinJen is a merchant to the core – she lives and breathes product. She has led businesses at Old Navy, Gap, American Eagle, and, most recently, at Talbots, where she helped drive the turn-around of a significant percent of Talbot’s business. Jen created new Key Item and Trend assortments and strategies to address market shifts, implemented increased testing, flexible sourcing, and fast pipelines, and instituted catalog strategy and performance analysis. Together these actions drove financial and growth success.

As a merchant, she is driven to learn exactly who the customer is and what she wants, and then to provide her that product at the right price. She seeks out data on customers and product.

Jen has a Bachelor of Arts in Apparel Merchandising from Indiana University.

 

Michael Bang

Chief Investment Officer & Strategist

michael bangPrior to his role at Calyx Peak Companies, Michael has over 20 years’ experience as a global financial expert and was last at Goldman Sachs as Managing Director of Technology Research.

He has worked on financial analysis, competitive analysis and worked with his clients with total annual revenues of $400B. During his time in Korea, Michael also worked with the Korean Broadcasting Commission as an informal consultant on new CATV home shopping regulations and often provided feedback to the Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy on how to improve the operating environment for small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, Michael is principal and founder of a commercial real estate company in Ontario, Canada and has a BA with Honors in Economics from Queens College.

Howard Keum

Chief Corporate Development Officer

howard keumHowie has over 20 years of experience in global equities - in New York City and internationally out of Hong Kong. He has had trading and leadership roles at Cantor Fitzgerald, Knight Capital Asia, Credit Suisse, Kim Eng Securities, Lava and Citigroup. At Calyx Peak he oversees Business Development, M&A, legal and Compliance.

Howie graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Economics.

Paul Y. Song, MD

Chief Medical Officer

paul songDr. Song is a 20-year physician radiation oncologist by trade. He has served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to ATGen Global and NKMax since 2014, overseeing and providing clinical and regulatory support into the major aspects of clinical trials and investigational applications at this prominent biotech company. Dr. Song previously acted as CMO for Cynvenio Biosystems in Thousand Oaks from 2015 to 2017, overseeing the application of Cynvenio’s technology into daily clinical practice as well as directing clinical trials.

In 2013, Dr. Song was the first Visiting Fellow on health policy to the California Department of Insurance. He has also held numerous roles with increasing seniority at Berg Health. He was formally Executive Chairman of the Courage Campaign, a progressive organization of 1,200,000 members. He was also a National Board of Physicians for a Health Program. He recently left Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Radiation Oncology department.

Dr. Song completed his residency in Radiation Oncology from the University of Chicago Medical Center; completed a brachytherapy fellowship at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France; received an MD from the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences; and earned a BA with honors in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago.

 

Management

Gwen Takagawa

Senior Director of Compliance

Gwen Manages licensing and compliance for Calyx Peak. Prior to joining Calyx Peak, she led technical writing teams on competitive government bids across the US, published analysis on armed conflict data for the Human Security Report Project, and managed monitoring and evaluation on behalf of government-funded non-profits. Gwen is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), has a M.A. in International Affairs from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada).

Mary Kate Heller

Director of Human Resources

Mary Kate has been an HR executive for over 25 years in the Consumer Products and Retail industries.  She was the Corporate Director of Human Resources for Lenox Corporation, the premier tabletop, bridal and gift company for over 20 years.   Most recently she spent 5 years with IT’SUGAR, a national candy retailer with over 100 doors in 39 states in the US as their Director of Human Resources.   She has overseen all areas of HR, including Staffing, Employee Relations, HRIS/Payroll management, Legal and Labor Law Compliance, Benefits Administration, Change Management, and Training & Development to name a few.  She has been a Leadership coach to top level executives at both Lenox and IT’SUGAR.
Her broad and extensive experience in Human Resources and her ability to be an effective business partner drive her career successes, and help to enhance employee engagement at al levels of the organization. Mary Kate has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Rider University.


Board of Advisors

 

Edward M. Schmults

Chairman

ed schmults

Ed has over 30 years of experience in global branded consumer products, omni-channel retail, product development, finance, operations, IT and green and socially responsible businesses.

He has leadership experience at some of the world’s best-known consumer brands, including Patagonia (COO) and FAO Schwarz (CEO), where product quality and customer experience drive the brands’ success. In addition, Ed has strong operational experience having set up and improved warehouse, logistics and technology infrastructure at five different companies.

Ed began his career in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co. He spent three years in the New York and London offices working in corporate finance and M&A. Ed holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science from Yale University.

John Chiang

From 2015 until 2019, John Chiang served as California’s 33rd State Treasurer. As the state’s banker, he oversaw trillions of dollars in annual transactions, managed a $75 billion investment portfolio, and was the nation’s largest issuer of municipal bonds.

Prior to being elected Treasurer, Chiang served as State Controller from 2007 through 2014. During the Great Recession, he took steps to preserve cash to meet obligations to education and bond holders. His cash management decisions —which included delaying payments and issuing IOUs — were instrumental in keeping the state’s credit rating from plunging into junk status, and his actions saved taxpayers millions of dollars. Additionally, Chiang aggressively used his audit programs to identify more than $9.5 billion of fraud, waste and abuse in government programs, the most by any Controller in California’s history.

In 1998, he was elected to California's Board of Equalization and served two terms, including three years as chair.

Chiang graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in finance and received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Keith Dawkins

With over 25 years of experience in media and content development, Keith has deep expertise in business operations, strategy, leadership and management, negotiations, and driving revenue growth.

As CEO of Rock Hill Media Ventures, Keith focuses on media, sports, and social impact. Previously, he was CEO of global non-profit The First Tee, partnering with the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA, as well as former President George W. Bush. Prior to The First Tee, he worked 17 years at Viacom becoming an Executive Vice President overseeing TeenNick, Nicktoons and NickMusic channels, and previously the Nick Jr channel, while also launching content and marketing initiatives including Nickelodeon Sports and TeenNick’s The Splat.

Dave Jones

Dave Jones has over 30 years experience as a legal, public policy, public administration, legislative, and regulatory professional.

He served two terms as California’s Insurance Commissioner from 2011 to 2018. During that time, he led California’s largest consumer protection agency and was responsible for regulating the largest insurance market in the United States where insurers collect $310 billion a year in premiums and have $5.5 trillion in assets under management.

Commissioner Jones developed and implemented a successful initiative to make insurance available for California’s newly legalized cannabis businesses.

Prior to serving as Insurance Commissioner, Jones served in the California State Assembly (2004-2010), as a Sacramento City Councilmember (1999-2004), as Special Assistant and then Counsel to United States Attorney General Janet Reno (1995-1998) and provided free legal representation to low income families and individuals with the non-profit Legal Services of Northern California (1989-1995).

In 1995, Jones was one of 13 Americans awarded the prestigious White House Fellowship in recognition of his academic, civic and professional accomplishments. He holds degrees from DePauw University (B.A), Harvard Law School (J.D.) and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (MPP). He is also currently the Director of the Climate Risk Initiative at UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) and a Senior Fellow at The ClimateWorks Foundation.

Damian Solomon

Damian has over 20 years experience in greenhouse management, horticulture and controlled environment growing systems. He has worked for Eurofresh Farms (N. America’s largest hydroponic greenhouse operation), Grimmway Farms (N. America’s largest farming company), and DeRuiter Seeds/Monsanto.

Since 2014, he has been involved in the cannabis industry as Director of Cultivation and Ag Tech for MedMen. Recently he left MedMen to start his own horticultural consulting company, Plant Geek Consulting. B.S. in Plant Sciences/Crop Production from University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture.

Calyx Peak Companies


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